Lyonsden Blog

Tag - Text Adventure

Sherlock Holmes by Infocom – Classic C64 Purchase

Infocom Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels was the last of a bunch of Infocom adventure games I picked up before Christmas. This, like all my others, is for the Commodore 64 and is in pretty good condition. The box does show some signs of wear but nothing too bad, just some creasing and wear to the corners. Sadly, like Border Zone, it is missing a ‘feelie’. Originally it would have shipped with a little plastic Sherlock Holmes key fob. It’s a little disappointing for sure but I can live without it, it’s the least important part of the package to me anyway.

Sherlock Holmes Infocom

Contrary to what I had expected, you actually play the role of Doctor Watson rather than Sherlock Holmes. The Crown Jewels have been stolen from the Tower of London and you only have 48 hours to retrieve them. Holmes deduces that this is a deadly trap constructed for him personally and so gets you (Watson) to take his place to throw the perpetrator off guard.

Sherlock Holmes Infocom

Exploring Victorian London is the highlight of the game for me. Locations are richly described which really helped immerse me in the games world. Playing Watson instead of Holmes is very odd though and I’m not sure why the author decided to do this. Only time will tell if it ultimately proves detrimental to the game.

Invisiclues

Unfortunately I don’t share Sherlock Holmes’ legendary deductive abilities so I’m glad there’s help available in this game. Just typing ‘hint’ brings up an ‘Invisiclues’ help screen. From here you can choose what you need help with from a menu. What’s great about this system is it gently nudges you in the right direction rather than just blurting out the answer. It does this by offering three hints. The first is quite vague but enough to hopefully get you thinking along the correct lines. The the second is less vague and if you still can’t figure it out the final hint is the actual answer. You can also turn this feature off if you think it will pose too great a temptation.

Sherlock Holmes Contents

As with all Infocom games there’s quite of lot of stuff packed inside the slide out tray.

Sherlock Holmes Infocom

Sliding out the box insert

Sherlock Holmes is no exception here with lots of extra goodies tucked inside the box insert.

The Sherlock Holmes box insert

Inside there’s the instruction manual, the game on a 5.25″ floppy disk, a tourist map of London and a copy of The Thames newspaper.

Sherlock Holmes Infocom

A look at what’s included inside the Infocom Sherlock Holmes game box

Sherlock Holmes Infocom

London Tours Guide Map

The Thames newspaper

Sherlock Holmes Infocom

The manual gives you a few pointers including how to draw a map…

As I mentioned earlier there should also be a little key fob but unfortunately that was missing from the box. However all the important things are present and correct and the fob isn’t required to actually play the game.

Sherlock Holmes Fob

You can see the fob that should have been in the box next to the magnifying glass above

Once again this is another lovely addition to my Infocom collection and hopefully it won’t be the last. There aren’t many Infocom games floating around these days so it may be a while before another one crosses my path.

If you enjoyed looking at this page then here’s a look at some of the other Infocom games in my collection that I’ve posted about.

Border Zone by Infocom – Classic C64 Purchase

Border Zone Infocom

Before Christmas I mentioned that I had picked up a few new Infocom adventure games for my collection. Well this is the second one, Border Zone for the Commodore 64. Again this is in very good condition throughout. The only blemish being that it is missing one of the feelies (a book of matches) but I’m not really too bothered about that.

 

Border Zone

Infocom Border Zone back cover

 

This adventure is a little bit different as you actually play three different people during the course of the game. The idea being that you get to see the story unfold from different viewpoints. At certain points in the story the paths of the characters intersect too which should prove interesting. Border Zone is basically a cold war spy thriller which was all the rage back in the 80’s. In a nutshell there’s an assassination plot and you must either try to prevent it, or ensure it succeeds, depending on who you are playing as.

 

Border Zone

Border Zone opening screen on my Commodore 64

I have to confess that after I started to play this I realised that there is a timer that ticks down while you are playing. This is a real-time timer… it ticks down whether you type a command or not. This is a real turn off for me as I like to take my time, examine everything, draw a map, make myself a cuppa or whatever… I don’t want to be stressing about running out of time. This may well prove to be a deal-breaker on this particular game, only time will tell.

It is actually possible to slow the timer down by entering the command ‘slow’. This certainly helps things but still doesn’t stop my anxiety levels whilst playing…

 

Border Zone ‘Feelies’

 

As with all Infocom games there’s plenty of extras packed inside the slide out tray.

 

Border Zone

Sliding out the box insert

 

Border Zone is no exception here with lots of extra goodies tucked inside the box insert.

 

The Border Zone box insert

 

Starting with the standard stuff first, there’s the instruction manual, a reference card for the C64 version of the game, the game on a 5.25″ floppy disk, and a registration card.

 

Border Zone

Feelies galore…

 

Also included is a map of the border between Frobnia and Litzenburg and a business card from ‘Riznik’s Antiques’. Additionally there’s an ‘I am Frobnia – Fortunate Tourists Guide and Phrasebook’ to help set the scene. As I mentioned earlier there should also be a little book of matches but unfortunately that was missing from the box.

All in all this is a fantastic item and another worthy addition to my Infocom collection, albeit one that I may never finish due to the timer.

If you enjoyed looking at this page then here’s a look at some of the other Infocom games in my collection that I’ve posted about.

Plundered Hearts by Infocom – Classic C64 Purchase

Plundered Hearts

I was lucky enough to bag a few new adventure games for my collection in the run up to Christmas. One them was this, the big box release of Plundered Hearts by Infocom. I paid a little more than I probably should have as it’s quite a rare game and is in beautiful condition. It’s definitely been well cared for by its previous owner. It is resplendent with all the extra ‘feelies’ and paperwork inside its pristine box too.

 

Infocom Plundered Hearts back cover

Infocom Plundered Hearts back cover

 

This adventure tells the story of a young woman who sets sail for the West Indies in search of her sick father. Along the way you will encounter pirates, puzzles, vicious crocodiles and even romance.  This sounds like it could be a really good yarn and given the pirate subject matter has made its way into my play list quite near the top!

 

Plundered Hearts running on my Commodore 64

Ooer missus – Plundered Hearts running on my Commodore 64

 

Plundered Hearts ‘Feelies’

 

As always with Infocom games, a huge part of their appeal for me is the extras (feelies) tucked inside the box. All of these bits and bobs came as standard with each copy of the game sold. No premium priced ‘special’ or ‘collectors’ editions here designed to fleece the customer. No siree, everyone got the same fully loaded edition. How times have changed – you’re lucky to get a sheet of paper listing the game controls these days!

 

Plundered Hearts

Sliding out the box insert

 

Happily Plundered Hearts is no exception here with lots of extra goodies tucked inside the box insert.

 

Plundered Hearts Contents

The Plundered Hearts box insert

 

There’s the instruction manual, a reference card for the C64 version of the game, the game on a 5.25″ floppy disk, a registration card and a coupon book containing offers for other games and merchandise.

 

Plundered Hearts Feelies

Plundered Hearts Feelies

 

Incidentally there’s some great offers inside the coupon book but sadly it looks like I missed the expiration date by a few days…

 

Infocom T-Shirt Coupon

I’d definitely be taking advantage of this offer of a free Infocom T-Shirt if the coupon was still valid!

 

Opening up the blue velvet pouch reveals even more goodies… There’s a beautifully hand written letter from Jean Lafond helping to set the scene for the game. A 50 Guinea note from the Bank of St. Sinistra rounds off the list of feelies and looks pretty convincing although is sadly not legal tender in the UK.

 

Plundered Hearts Feelies

Letter and 50 guinea note contained within the blue velvet pouch

All in all this is a fantastic item and a very worthy addition to my Infocom collection.

If you enjoyed looking at this page then here’s a look at some of the other Infocom games in my collection that I’ve posted about.

Moonmist by Infocom – Classic C64 Purchase

Infocom Moonmist

My Infocom collection continues to grow and this time it’s thanks to the greybox release of ‘Moonmist’. It’s a lovely addition to my collection and has been well looked after by its previous owner. It came complete with all the extra ‘feelies’ and paperwork inside the box.

 

Infocom Moonmist

Infocom Moonmist back cover

 

Infocom have classified this particular release as being of an ‘Introductory Level’ which basically means it’s one of their easier titles. Not that I’m expecting it to be any kind of a walk in the park. As I’ve come to expect now, the disk still loads just fine, despite it’s advancing age.

 

Infocom Moonmist

Infocom Moonmist running on my Commodore 64

 

 

Moonmist ‘Feelies’

As always with Infocom games, a big part of their appeal is the extras (feelies) tucked inside the box, all of which came as standard.

 

Infocom Moonmist

Infocom Moonmist box contents

 

Moonmist is no exception here with lots of extra goodies inside the box. First we have the ‘Legendary Ghosts of Cornwall’ book which forms part of the front inside cover. This sets the scene for our spooky adventure and also gives a few tips on how to play the game.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Then we have two letters sent to you from you friend Tamara which also help set the scene. Next up is the Tresyllian Castle Visitor Guide which includes a handy map of the castle. There’s also an Infocom Passport (which is basically a product catalogue), disk loading instructions, registration card and of course the game itself on a 5.25″ floppy.

 

 

Infocom Moonmist

Infocom Moonmist Goodies

 

Oh and one other thing too – an iron on transfer of the Moonmist logo! I bet when they were putting that in the box they never envisaged someone excitedly opening it up 35 years later. Needless to say I won’t be putting an iron anywhere near it!

If you enjoyed looking at this page then here’s a look at some of the other Infocom games in my collection that I’ve posted about.

The Witness by Infocom – Classic C64 Purchase

The Witness by Infocom

I was only saying in a recent post that it had been a while since I last came across an Infocom adventure. Then I stumbled onto this little beauty just a week later. It’s Infocom’s ‘The Witness’ in a ‘greybox’ release. It’s in amazing condition for it’s age and just like the last purchase, all the extra ‘feelies’ and paperwork are present and correct.

 

Infocom's The Witness Back Cover

Infocom The Witness Back Cover

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Not surprisingly, I’ve never had the pleasure of playing through this game before. I just couldn’t afford these sort of games back when they were originally released. As is often the case, this will be joining my ever growing retro game backlog. Definitely looking forward to playing this during a rainy Sunday afternoon soon though.

 

Infocom's The Witness running on my Commodore 64.

Infocom’s The Witness running on my Commodore 64.

 

The disk still loads just fine which is pretty amazing considering it’s about 36 years old! 5.25″ floppy disks just seem to be so much more reliable than the more modern 3.5″ ones that the Amiga used. Needless to say the loading time was pretty slow but it’s a text adventure so speed isn’t really an issue.

 

The Witness ‘Feelies’

As always with Infocom games, a big part of their appeal is the extras (feelies) tucked inside the box. These weren’t special ‘collectors edition’ versions at inflated prices either, this was the standard release.

 

The Witness box contents

The Witness box contents

 

 

There’s loads of stuff included with The Witness. First we have the ‘Detective Gazette’ which forms part of the front inside cover. There’s also a suicide note, Western Union Telegram and a huge A3 double-sided newspaper called ‘The Register’.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The coolest extra of all though has to be the book of matches with a name and number scribbled on the inside. A classic clue from many a detective film. Not sure if they are real, but they sure look like the real deal, not that I have any intention of using them!

 

The Witness book of matches

A book of matches with a name and number written inside…

 

Rounding off the contents we have an Infocom brochure and of course the 5.25″ floppy disk, instruction manual and even the original registration card. A far cry from a DVD in an empty clamshell case that passes as a physical game release these days!

 

The Witness game box contents

Just look at all that swag!

If you enjoyed looking at this page then here’s a look at some of the other Infocom games in my collection that I’ve posted about.

Planetfall by Infocom – Classic C64 Purchase

Planetfall Infocom

It’s been a while since I last came across an Infocom adventure that I don’t already own. Consequently when I spotted Planetfall a couple of weeks ago I snapped it up straight away. It’s in terrific condition for a 36 year old game and it looks like all the extra bits and bobs are present and correct.

 

Infocom Planetfall

Infocom Planetfall Back Cover

 

A place for everything and everything in its place!

 

This is yet another game I’ve never had the pleasure of playing through before. As a result it will be joining my ever growing list of retro titles that I’m looking forward to completing at some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future!

 

Infocom Planetfall

Infocom Planetfall running on my Commodore 64.

 

Planetfall’s Extra Goodies

An Infocom game just wouldn’t be complete without a bunch of extra physical content included in the box. Planetfall is no exception. Tucked away in the two top pockets there’s a small book, “Today’s Stellar Control”, some intergalactic post cards, an instruction booklet and a some hand-written journal entries. Then in the two slots lower down there’s a plastic Stellar Patrol ID badge and the most important item of all, a floppy disk containing the game.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Here’s a look at some of the other Infocom games in my collection, well the ones I’ve posted about anyway.

Infocom Wishbringer – Classic C64 Purchase

Wishbringer Infocom

I’m always looking to expand my text adventure collection so when I spotted this copy of Wishbringer by Infocom I had to snap it up. The spine is a little creased and there’s a small tear on the back but other than that it’s in excellent condition. It came with everything it should with the exception of the ‘magick stone’ which was basically just a glow in the dark plastic stone.

Most copies of Infocom games on sale now are missing one or more of these ‘feelies’ and those that aren’t are often being sold for silly amounts of money. For what I paid for this game I’m not bothered by this in the slightest, especially as the game loads up just fine off the floppy disk and everything is in such great condition.

 

Infocom Wishbringer

Wishbringer game box with opening screen of the game in the background

 

So what was included in the box? Well there’s the book, “The Legend of Wishbringer”, a 5.25″ Floppy disk containing the game, a sealed envelope (only to be opened when the game instructs you to do so!), a fold out map, instruction booklet and a catalogue of other Infocom games.

 

Infocom Wishbringer

This brings the number of Infocom games in my collection to 11 so there’s still an awful lot remaining for me to look out for!

 

I’ve never played this particular adventure before so I’m looking forward to giving it a go soon. Apparently Infocom classed this as ‘Introductory level’ so maybe it won’t be quite as punishing as some of their other games!

Here’s a few photos of the contents…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hibernated 1 – A New Text Adventure

Hibernated 1

Been waiting for this particular game to arrive for what feels like an eternity after having pre-ordered it last year. As of today that wait is finally over! Hibernated 1 – This Place is Death is now on my desk waiting to be played! 🙂

This isn’t a review as I’ve not had time to play the game yet, just a look at the physical edition and what’s inside it. Hopefully once I’ve completed it (always the optimist) I’ll write one.!

 

Hibernated 1

Amiga 3.5″ Disk & MicroSD Card

 

Which format?

I deliberated over whether to get the game on the Commodore 64 or Amiga for a while before ordering. In the end the Amiga won out due to it being able to display a greater number of characters per screen row. Given this is a text adventure I thought that was the most important consideration. However the beauty of this release is that although I chose the Amiga, this only affects the physical media the game ships with. On the MicroSD card are digital versions of ALL of the supported formats, including the Commodore 64. The other formats on the card are; Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Spectrum and IBM PC along with some bonus stuff like concept art.

Eight Feet Under

An extra bonus is that a digital copy of the spin-off game, ‘Eight Feet Under’ is included – you can download it from itch.io and again you have the same choice of formats as above. You can also choose to get Hibernated 1 digitally if you like, it’s available here and you can name your own price.

 

Hibernated 1

A look at what’s inside the box

 

Box Contents

Inside the box there are plenty of goodies to enjoy, here’s a quick rundown:

 

  • A5 full colour game manual
  • A3 full colour poster
  • Game on physical disk
  • Digital version of the game on MicroSD card (in a snazzy Hibernated case)
  • Password to download ‘Eight Feet Under’ from itch.io
  • Terran Alliance round cloth patch
  • Stickers
  • Adverts for some other poly.play games

 

Couple of screenshots

Here’a quick look at the loading screen and the opening screen to the game.

Open eyes… 😉

 

Hibernated 1

Loading Screen

 

Hibernated 1

Open eyes…….